Thursday, April 22, 2010
Toe Injuries: Coban Wrap for Compression and Stabilization
Coban Wrap was supposedly invented by a very smart engineer at 3M Company two years before he invented the glue for post-its. Both products have helped me and I am very grateful. Coban does not stick to your skin. The tape also has a latex-free version and can be found at www.3M.com/ The tape is corrigated to bind to itself. It is a stretch tape, so it gives with swelling. With any wrap, it should not be used if someone as poor circulation, but especially if they lack feeling. When you wrap a foot, or toe like in the photo above, you must be able to feel when it is too tight and should be loosened. It is fairly water-proof, so you can shower with it, and the skin dries under it. I have had patients leave on to protect a corn, or other sore, for a month at a time. The photo above shows the tape being used for compression following a broken toe. This will be on totally for 12 weeks to control the swelling and minimize the pain associated with this swelling. There will always be some stabilization of an injured area with Coban which can help speed healing of fractures. "Buddy taping" is when you tape a broken toe to the toe next to it for greater stability. First you wrap the injured toe completely, then continue the tape over the next toe. The big toe can not be buddy taped. The second toe if broken is taped to the third toe. The third toe if broken is taped to the second or fourth, whichever feels the best. The fourth toe if broken is taped to the third toe. The fifth toe if broken is taped to the fourth toe. The normal amount of time of taping is 3 months.